By W. Brian Hale, mountaineagle.com:
New Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin was a surprising addition to the coaching staff during the offseason. The former head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Volunteers and the USC Trojans had earned a reputation among fans and coaches across the nation for careless remarks and mannerisms and less for his coaching ability — belying his ability to produce quality offensive players throughout his young career. Regardless of Kiffin”s past, Alabama”s new offensive mastermind has made a good impression on his fellow coaches and the players under his guidance, who have complimented his abilities and connection to team members. Junior Amari Cooper stated that Kiffin”s addition to the staff has been a great blessing to not only himself, but to the entire offense as a whole.
By Cliff Kirkpatrick, Montgomery Advertiser:
The most talked about Alabama football player at the SEC Media Days wasn’t present even present. Jake Coker has yet to take a practice snap with the Crimson Tide, but fans and media already anointed him the successor at quarterback for three-year starter AJ McCarron. Coker looks the part, at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, and is from McCarron’s hometown of Mobile. He’s even from McCarron’s high school — St. Paul’s Episcopal. Alabama head coach Nick Saban, however, cautioned the media that the quarterback competition isn’t over, or even begun. Saban has sung the praises of senior Blake Sims, while pointing out Coker, a transfer junior from Florida State, has a long way to go before he’s ready to play.
By Michael Casagrande, al.com:
After consecutive 52-0 Alabama wins, the Arkansas-Tide rivalry isn’t among the hottest in the SEC. Razorback coach Bret Bielema had a few comments Tuesday that might help stoke the fires. Making his rounds at ESPN’s Car Wash for SEC coaches, Bielema referenced a recent camp at Alabama and current offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin’s actions while at Tennessee. While appearing on a roundtable with Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin and Tennessee’s Butch Jones, Bielema addressed a question about the year-round nature of the game.
By RYAN BLACK and MARQ BURNETT, ledger-enquirer.com:
Perception isn’t reality when it comes to Alabama’s quarterback vacancy. Despite the media, fans and everyone else anointing Florida State transfer Jacob Coker as the heir apparent to three-year starter AJ McCarron, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban has stressed the competition remains open on numerous occasions, including SEC media days. “That’s really not internally the perception by me, our staff or our players,” Saban said. “Jake Coker has the opportunity to come in and compete for the position. Blake Sims has been competing for the position. Really did a pretty good job in the spring. Didn’t play great in the spring game, but we really didn’t do the things that he’s capable of doing. So there’s going to be a competition there, as well as some of the younger players will be involved in that competition.
By David Climer, tennessean.com:
“It symbolizes everything I’m talking about when I say those small things can come back to get you beat,” Jones said. Motivation comes from difference sources, and this is one. Jones and others believe that last-second breakdown against Auburn symbolizes what went wrong with Alabama’s 2013 season after an 11-0 start while also providing a teachable moment, moving forward. “It was a simple field goal that was missed and returned for a touchdown,” Jones said. “… We were going for the SEC championship, the national championship.” There is a theme emerging here. For all of Alabama’s NFL-in-training talent during Nick Saban’s tenure, the Crimson Tide won three national championships in a four-year period because everyone sweated the small stuff.
By Paul Myerberg, theadvertiser.com:
Saban might not know who he wants under center, but he’s sure about what he and the Crimson Tide need from the position. “I think every quarterback has to go through sort of a process of development because three things that are critical factors to me at quarterback is decision making, processing information quickly, making quick, good decisions,” Saban said. “So decision making and judgment is a critical factor, accuracy with the ball is a critical factor, and leadership is a critical factor.”
By Ted Miller, ESPN:
Michael from Anniston, Alabama, writes: You credit the CF playoff for the Bama-USC match-up? Hogwash. Bama has been scheduling such opening games ever since Nick Saban became head coach. Ted Miller: You make a fair point. Unlike a lot of SEC teams, Alabama (and LSU) have not been cowards with their nonconference scheduling. While the Alabama Crimson Tide’s matchup with West Virginia to open the 2014 season hardly scintillates, the Mountaineers are a “name” opponent. And the Tide’s list of nonconference foes since Saban took over is impressive: Virginia Tech (2013 and 2009), Michigan (2012), Penn State (2010-11), Clemson (2008) and Florida State (2007). That’s a strong list, no doubt. But USC is different. Trust me.
By Michael Casagrande, al.com:
Getting to Alabama was the goal for Elisha Shaw. Injuries ended his football career, but the former top recruit will end up in Tuscaloosa anyway. The NCAA on Monday approved a waiver to give him a non-football scholarship. Alabama confirmed the news Shaw posted on his Twitter account earlier in the day.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban has a bit of a dilemma on his hands this season as he aims to replace three-year starting quarterback AJ McCarrron, now with the Cincinnati Bengals. Florida State transfer Jacob Coker and senior Blake Sims are competing for the starting job. At the SEC Media Days, Saban did not rule out the possibility of both seeing time in a two-quarterback system, according to AL.com: “It’s not something that I would hope would happen,” Saban said Thursday at SEC Media Days, referring to the possibility of running a two-quarterback system. “Is it something that I can totally rule out? Not really, because I think the skill set of Blake Sims can create problems for a defense. If we wanted to utilize him to do that in some kind of way, I guess you could say that we could possibly have a two-quarterback system.”